Friday, April 23, 2010

Twitter as Writing

This is going off of a lot of the recent discussions we've been having about blogs as writing. Last week the Library of Congress announced that they are going to be archiving all the "tweets" on Twitter. Here's an article from last week's Washington Post about it:

The article notes that Twitter has had a huge impact on things like the relief efforts in Haiti and has given a voice to people who are normally suppressed by their governments. It's obviously a revolutionary form of communication that has had a huge impact on society and our culture.

But for every meaningful "tweet" on Twitter there's probably a million more that are completely useless. Do Lindsay Lohan's rants really need to be archived in the Library of Congress?

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that something like Twitter is now being taken seriously as a way of studying our culture and society. Does this legitimize Twitter as a real form of writing? Is there a difference between a "tweet" and a postcard?


  1. While Twitter is a fun, and sometimes useful innovation, I don't think it is important enough to be archived in the Library of Congress. Sure, major organizations and celebrities use it for political reasons and relief efforts, the majority of tweeters are just universtity students and young adults like me and you. Surely little bits our lives can't be important enough to save forever?

    I do agree though that a tweet is like a postcard. With a 140 character limit, there is only so much you can get across in one message. While I have friends that do continuous tweets, they're still inadequate at describing the whole situation.

  2. Though I think it's a little nutty to archive all tweets, I guess it's the only fair way to do it.

    I do think there's some really brilliant stuff coming out of twitter. I follow some comedians, and I'm amazed at how they can make a great joke in 140 characters and there are some literary figures writing some beautiful stuff in 140 characters. Though I think it can be narcissistic for some people, others are really using it in creative ways.

  3. I have never looked at twitter so I cant say it is useless at all but if it is anything like facebook it is a really weird use of time (but i think they are different?) I dont think that needs to be have an archive ha ha. the internet is bringing everyone closer but really farther apart i think... have you guys seen this chat roulette thing?

  4. I'm so glad that 50 Cent and Ron Artest will be in the Library of Congress! They have always been so underrated in terms of their writing quality. How could they not deserve to be there??

    As for the chat roulette, that shit is scary. I tried it once and got way too many people willing to bare it all for the camera. If I had a teenage son/daughter I would make sure that chatroulette was blocked. Seems like every day someone comes out with a new way of allowing creepers into the lives of the innocent.